Archived Letter – 1475

To whom it may concern:
Having cycled 25 kms along the trail towards Fergus where I had to work, I was greeted by a temporary trail closure barrier at the junction with 1st Line: trail closed for tree trimming. Faced with the option of having to divert onto Cty Rd 19, I preferred to take my chances on the trail and ignore the closure sign. I’ve encountered too many near-death experiences whilst cycling on main roads, so I avoid them if at all possible… and yes, the recent 1-metre gap law does not help and is an unenforceable sick joke ignored by too many drivers… there’s more chance of being killed by a blind/ignorant motorist ploughing into the back of me than by my failing to use caution when approaching some tree surgery, which I can see well ahead of me.
Now, I’m sure this tree maintenance work was quite necessary but may I suggest a little more thought and courtesy may be appropriate here? Rather than simply closing the trail without notice and telling users to go via the main road; how about clear warning signs on the front and rear of the tree worker’s truck, which one could not fail to notice, since it virtually blocked the path?… surely this would be enough to encourage cyclists and walkers to proceed with caution through their short working area. Alternatively, if the contractors really believe a cyclist/walker would be stupid enough to continue to ride/walk unconsciously under a falling tree or through a hail of chainsaw debris, how about deciding well in advance the date for the necessary trail closure and posting signs giving users adequate notice? They may then avoid starting out along the trail on that particular day. Signs posted on the trail a couple of months beforehand would be helpful to catch the attention of even the occasional user. Judging by the number of cyclists that I met along the “closed” section, clearly most people ignored such a thoughtless and unnecessary temporary trail closure.

Roy Pegg